Engelbert Humperdinck says death of wife 'affected him pretty badly'

Engelbert Humperdinck, 85, says the death of his wife of 56 years from Covid ‘affected him pretty badly’ – but insists ‘it’s his job’ to go on tour and sing ‘sensitive lyrics’

  • Engelbert Humperdinck says death of his wife has ‘affected him pretty badly’ 
  • The singer, 85, from Leicester, announced the passing of his wife in February 
  • He appeared on Good Morning Britain today to promote his new tour

Engelbert Humperdinck has revealed how the death of his wife from coronavirus has ‘affected him pretty badly’.

The 85-year-old singer, who lives in Leicester, announced the passing of his wife of 56 years Patricia in February this year, explaining she ‘slipped softly away’ after a ‘brave’ 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s. 

Appearing on Good Morning Britain to promote his new tour The Legend Continues, Engelbert admitted that it has been ‘quite difficult’ moving on without his wife.

However, he added that his fans have been ‘absolutely fantastic’ and that he’s looking forward to singing for them again despite the ‘sensitive lyrics’ since ‘it’s his job’. 

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Engelbert Humperdinck (pictured) has revealed how the death of his wife from coronavirus has ‘affected him pretty badly’

The 85-year-old singer, who lives in Leicester, announced the passing of his wife of 56 years Patricia (pictured together) in February this year, explaining she ‘slipped softly away’ after a ‘brave’ 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s

Speaking to hosts Kate Garraway and Richard Madeley, he began: ‘I’m bearing up not bad. The whole family has been in limbo lately because we finally brought her home (from Los Angeles). 

‘Since February we’ve been waiting, waiting for the quarantine to go away so we can give her a good final send off in our home in Leicester. She’s finally home now and so we’re grateful for that.’

Eventually contracting Covid-19, Patricia had also suffered with Alzhiemers for the last decade of her life. 

Continuing to speak of her passing, Engelbert added: ‘I don’t know how it’s going to affect me, I don’t know yet. It’s affected me pretty bad so far and I know I’m going to go out on tour and sing sensitive songs and things like that, but that’s my job and I know that’s what my wife would want me to do.

‘So I keep on and I’ve been out in her garden which she used to love. She created the whole thing… I’ve been out there doing bits and pieces and hopefully making her happy as she looks at me doing it.’

Appearing on Good Morning Britain (pictured) to promote his new tour The Legend Continues, Engelbert admitted that it has been ‘quite difficult’ moving on without his wife

 However, he added that his fans have been ‘absolutely fantastic’ and that he’s looking forward to singing for them again despite the ‘sensitive lyrics’ since ‘it’s his job’. Pictured, the singer with his wife

Commenting on the grief he’s suffered this year: ‘I’m learning… It’s quite difficult. And being a performer and being out on stage and singing sensitive lyrics – and each lyric can touch your heart in different ways – but it doesn’t matter, it’s my job. 

‘I’m a thespian of song and I’ve got to go out there and do the best that I can. My fans have been absolutely fantastic. They’ve all been so supportive during this time in my life and I love them all.’

The singer, who contracted Covid in January, also commented on being awarded an MBE during the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year.

He said: ‘I’m excited about what’s been happening in my life with the MBE, which has been quite wonderful because Her Majesty The Queen has given me the opportunity of putting letters behind my name so it now distinguishes me from the original Engelbert Humperdinck, which is rather lovely.’

Soulmates: The couple’s love story spans more than 70 years (pictured at their home in Leicester in 1999)

Throwback: Engelbert has often spoken about Patricia’s Alzheimer’s since she was diagnosed with the condition more than a decade ago (pictured in 1991)

Co-presenter Richard ended the interview by asking the 85-year-old about his morning routine, to which Engelbert responded: ‘I do exercise, I haven’t been in the mood for it quite lately but I do keep my body in shape and with that your mind keeps healthy.’

Engelbert topped the UK singles chart with his hits Release Me and The Last Waltz in the 1960s.

He also represented the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 with the song Love Will Set You Free, finishing second last.

Engelbert Humperdinck will take The Legend Continues… Tour across the UK in autumn 2021 

Good Morning Britain weekdays from 6am on ITV and ITV Hub 

WHAT IS ALZHEIMER’S?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain, in which build-up of abnormal proteins causes nerve cells to die.

This disrupts the transmitters that carry messages, and causes the brain to shrink. 

More than 5 million people suffer from the disease in the US, where it is the 6th leading cause of death, and more than 1 million Britons have it.

WHAT HAPPENS?

As brain cells die, the functions they provide are lost. 

That includes memory, orientation and the ability to think and reason. 

The progress of the disease is slow and gradual. 

On average, patients live five to seven years after diagnosis, but some may live for ten to 15 years.

EARLY SYMPTOMS:

  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Disorientation
  • Behavioral changes
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulties dealing with money or making a phone call 

LATER SYMPTOMS:

  • Severe memory loss, forgetting close family members, familiar objects or places
  • Becoming anxious and frustrated over inability to make sense of the world, leading to aggressive behavior 
  • Eventually lose ability to walk
  • May have problems eating 
  • The majority will eventually need 24-hour care   

 Source: Alzheimer’s Association

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